MacRostie Leathers - Custom Handmade Footwear

Elaine and Lyle MacRostie

MacRostie Leathers product line of moccasins, boots, shoes


Singular Styles

Like a one-of-a-kind look? These custom-made clothes, shoes and accessories from local designers are definitely not one size fits all.

The MacRosties are bespoke cordwainers. That doesn't mean they are ill, it means they are rare. "A cordwainer was a shoemaker who worked with new leather, back when leather was an extremely valuable commodity," Lyle explained from the couple's hermit-like home and shop near Spring Lake, Minn. "Bespoke" means the MacRosties only make to order; all of their work is spoken for.

Doctors, lawyers, and motorcyclists are among those who have spoken up for a pair of the MacRostie's long-lasting boots or moccasins. Their shoes are made moccasin-style by wrapping oil-tanned cowhide under the foot and stitching it to the top, as opposed to the European method. It makes for a smoother, more watertight fit, allowing the uppers to outlast those of commercial shoes about three times over, Lyle said. It's a style he and Elaine learned as apprentices at the famous, now-defunct Gokey boot shop in St. Paul.

No one else, Lyle said, is making shoes quite like they are. To arrange a fitting, or to do it yourself, email

This article appeared in the April and May issues of Where magazine.
Reprinted with permission of Minnesota Monthly Publications.


MacRostie Leathers
51211 County Road 4
Spring Lake, MN 56680

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